Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Potato and Purslane Salad--Healthy & Delicious

I have been coveting purslane for a while now. The first time I tried it was at a wine/food pairing last year at Town, one of my favorite local restaurants. where they have some growing in their garden. There it was put into a pasta for a tasting dish. My friend girlichef has featured it a couple of times (like in this salad), and I coveted it even more. Finally, a few weeks ago when my Mom was here, I stumbled across some at the farmer's market and I bought a big bunch to play with.

Although it is considered to be a weed here in the United States, purslane is a succulent that is cultivated and used throughout the world. It can be cooked--steamed, sauteed or put in a stir-fry, or eaten raw and has a somewhat tangy taste. It has an excellent health profile--it is full of Omega-3 fatty acids and contains more of them than any other leafy veggie. It also contains vitamins like A, C and B and minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium.

When looking online for purslane salad recipes, I stumbled across this CSA site that had some different links to various potato salad recipes. This one, from a blog called You Are What You Eat, with its vinaigrette dressing sounded really tasty.

Potato and Purslane Salad

from You Are What You Eat Blog

"Don't use all the salad dressing at first--pour a little on and see how much you'll need. Any that's left over will be good on pasta or tossed salad."

6 small to medium redskin potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
2 cups washed purslane leaves
4 scallions, sliced thin

1/2 cup olive oil
2 T. lemon juice (or more, to taste)
2 T. red wine vinegar (or more, to taste)
garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. dry tarragon
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes with their skins on until just tender. Drain and plunge into cold water. Let cool. Peel and cut into slices, chunks, or dice, as you prefer.

Chop purslane coarsely. Add purslane and scallions to potatoes.

Mix dressing ingredients until emulsified (I like to shake them in a jar). Pour over salad until it looks and tastes right. Chill. If the salad sits around in the fridge for a while before serving, you may need to add a little more dressing just at serving time so it's moist enough.

Notes/Results: Really good. The dressing really works well with the mellow potatoes and slightly tangy purslane. This was easy to prepare, although pulling all the leaves, or at least the larger leaves, off the purslane is a bit tedious. Although the salad, which I served with simple grilled lamb chops with a mint-mac nut pesto and pita bread, was really pretty good, I felt that it was missing something. The answer? Capers! We added some capers to the leftover salad and ate it for lunch the next day and it took it from good to great. I will make this again---with the capers of course.

I am linking this salad to the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, (food from your hearth that feeds and nourishes your soul), hosted by girlichef, along with A Moderate Life, Hunger and Thirst, and Frugality and Crunchiness wth Christy.


Hope you are having a wonderful week.


  1. Capers are a necessity of life, I've decided. Almost everything tastes better when covered in them. Purslane has eluded me as of yet but I will find it someday! This salad looks delicious.

  2. yummy! I think I have some purslane growing wild in one of my pots!

  3. The whole meal looks awesome! I have yet to try purslane. I'll go check in my yard to see if any is growing where it shouldn't be! LOL! I would love to try the salad!

  4. Hey Debs! Purslane was a staple in my diet as a child, not because my mother cooked with it but because she always showed us the herbs in our garden that we could eat and also the weeds. So, we knew we couldnt have snacks between meals so we ate wild ramps and purslane all the time! No wonder we were so healthy! to get the leaves off more easily, hold the tip of the branch by the farthest shoot and then, bunching your fingers together, run them quickly down the stem. The leaves will all come off at once in your fingers! This salad looks yummy! thanks so much for sharing on the hearth and soul hop and for trying new foods. I love doing that! Alex@amoderatelife

  5. So excited to see that you've tried purslane!!! I've beene eating off of a big patch of it that grows in my driveway all summer long. However, it's starting to fade, so I'll probably have to wait again until next summer. Thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  6. Okay Deb...this is my next use for purslane! It sounds fabulous. I love the purslane/potato combo warm, but never thought to try it in cold-combo-form (LOL). Bookmarked! Keep those purslane ventures coming!! Thanks for sharing it with the hearth and soul hop this week, too =)

  7. I am the only hop hostess who doesn't eat purslane - mostly because I don't have a clue what plant it is, but dang I sure wish I did because this sounds delicious! Thanks for linking this to the hearth and soul hop!

  8. Joanne--so true! Capers are a necessity! ;-)

    Kat--if I ever find it, I will try to grow it too--it is really quite tasty. ;-)

    Lyndsey--thanks! I hope you find some purslane. ;-)

    Alex--thanks for the great purslane tips! ;-)

    Butterpoweredbike--how lucky to have a big patch of it to enjoy!

    Girlichef--thanks! I want to try some of the recipes that you made with it too. ;-)

    Christy--thanks! I hope you get to try it sometime.

  9. I don't think I've ever had purslane. Leave it to us to name a delicious food a weed. Ha, ha! Thanks for introducing those of us who aren't in the know. This salad looks delicious!

  10. Nitha--thanks!

    Lori--I hope you get to try it sometimes. Funny it is viewed as a weed isn't it?!

  11. I buy verdo laga in mexican markets to cook with pork and recently saw a picture in a french cookbook of purslane. Check out wikipedia/purslane.

  12. Hi Deb,

    just to tell you that I loved this recipe so much that I published it my blog. And I followed your suggestion for using capers!

    Best regards,



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